Antique and Collectibles Sale

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the cool artifacts and objects from our past exhibits? Typically our curator and staff place items that aren’t being displayed in our storage unit. We love to reuse them in future exhibits or events. In a perfect world, we’d have unlimited space for these unusual collections. However, we’ve gathered so many unique items that it’s time for a little spring cleaning!

This Saturday, February 6th, we’re holding our first ever Antiques and Collectibles Sale! We’ve been busy tagging and cleaning lots of one-of-a-kind treasures, like vintage cameras, military equipment, educational materials, and much, much more! All proceeds go directly to the museum to provide funding for future exhibits and programming. If you’ve ever wanted to own a custom-built space shuttle or a small piece of La Habra history, now’s your chance. Hope to see you!

Antique and Collectibles Sale

Saturday, February 6th from 10am to 4pm

(562) 383-4236

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Creepy Crawlies Sneak Peek!

Did you know that, pound for pound, spider silk is stronger than steel? Or that if you rounded up all the ants on Earth they’d weigh more than all the people? Want to get up close and personal with a big yellow banana slug or a walking stick hiding in plain sight? Visitors can see all this and more at our upcoming Creepy Crawlies exhibit! Opening March 29th 2016, it will offer a glimpse into the hidden lives of these fascinating yet sometimes misunderstood little creatures.

Museum staff are already hard at work preparing for the exhibit, so we thought we’d offer a behind-the-scenes look at one of our new live animals: a gorgeous adult Vietnamese centipede. This impressive arthropod is about 8 inches long when fully grown. Here at the Children’s Museum it eats crickets, but in the wild they’ll chomp down on anything they can catch, including the occasional rodent or frog! Despite their name, they’re found all over Southeast Asia, not just Vietnam. Similar but smaller species of centipede are even found right here in the United States, mainly in the southwest.

Scolopendra_subspinipes_mutilans_DSC_1438

Photo credit- “Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans DSC 1438” by Yasunori Koide. Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Centipedes use their speed, legs, and venomous bite to catch and subdue prey. They live about 10 years and hide in burrows or under rocks. Many people wonder about the difference between centipedes and millipedes- centipedes only have 1 pair of legs per body segment, and are predators. Their slower-moving relatives, the millipedes, have 2 pairs of legs per body segment and eat plants and decaying plant matter.

Now, we know that some of our more bug-averse visitors might be EW!-ing from their seats, but remember that centipedes and all the other “creepy crawlies” are important parts of their complex ecosystems. They help keep the balance in the populations of the prey that they eat. They also serve as a food source for birds and reptiles.  Centipedes, like most venomous insects or spiders, will only attack if provoked.  We hope that seeing an unusual creature like this Vietnamese centipede will inspire our visitors to learn about more animals, as well as the world around us!

Make slime at home!

Keep your little ones occupied this winter break with some fun, educational science experiments! A favorite experiment at the Children’s Museum at La Habra is homemade slime! You may have the supplies for this experiment already in you cupboard!

Materials

8 oz white glue bottle

Food coloring

Borax

Water

Zip lock baggies (to store your experiment!)

Spoon

Mixing bowl

Experiment

Step one: Combine equal parts of white glue and warm water and mix.

Step two (Optional): Add a few drops of food coloring to give your slime some pizazz. (FYI parents: Too much food coloring can stain)

Step Three: In a separate container mix a teaspoon of borax with ½ cup warm water until dissolved.

Step Four: While stirring the glue in the mixing bowl, slowly add a little of the Borax solution. You will notice that you’re soupy liquid is now changing shape!

Step Five: Use your hands for better mixing.

What is this magic?!!

No, it’s not magic. It’s science! The mixture of glue with Borax and water produces a putty-like material called a polymer. Mixing the borax and water solution with the glue resulted in a reaction. Another example of a reaction is mixing vinegar and baking soda that bubbles when combined.

Have fun with it and experiment by adding more or less borax solution! You can place the finished product in a zip lock to keep, or roll it into a ball, let dry and bounce it outside!

 

 

National Family Literacy Month

Hello, friends! Did you know that November is National Family Literacy Month? According to the National Center for Families Learning,

Literacy is essential to success in today’s economy, now more than ever. The family literacy approach harnesses the strength of parent-child bonds to help those who are most at risk of failing economically, emotionally, and socially. We build success by strengthening their confidence, increasing their ability, and broadening their outlook.

What a powerful message! We thought it would be fun to see what our staff’s favorite books are.

Scott (Visitor Services)- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Lynn (Visitor Services)- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. “This series was always my favorite. They all stood in line except Madeline.”

Lorena (Visitor Services)- Little Bear. “This was one of my favorite books as a kid, a cute little bed time story that I read over and over.”

Ally (Visitor Services)- If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Lyle Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Webar.

Kristine (Visitor Services)- The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord. “A town is invaded by wasps so they make a giant sandwich to trap them. Enough said.”

Steven (Volunteer Coordinator)- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. “I loved how silly they were and would try to draw the pictures in my notebook.”

Maria (Assistant Director)- The Napping House by Audrey Wood. “This book would always help my kids wind down for bed when they were little. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is quite sweet.”

Lisa (Curator of Exhibits and Education)- “My older sister had a set of Dr. Seuss books (this was back in the 60’s, so they were probably originals) and she wouldn’t let me read them, so one day I snuck the entire set into the barn and camped out in a manger reading all the books in one day (along with a horse).”

Eden (Exhibits and Education Assistant)- The Tacky Penguin by Helen Lester.

What are your favorite books? Leave us a comment below, and check out the books in our Preschool Play Park treehouse, Nature Walk, or Nanny’s Travels to create your own story time!

For more resources on family learning and literature, visit Reading Rockets  and Wonderopolis. Happy reading!

CMLH372

 

 

Volunteers make the world go round!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the museum staff is feeling thankful to the many individuals that help the museum run – our amazing volunteers! The museum is fortunate to have a roster of dedicated volunteers who lend their time and skill to ensure our guests have an unforgettable visit. Volunteers at the museum work in many capacities, from helping with craft prep to conducting fundraisers!

Our weekend volunteers are primarily made up of local high school students who, with their already busy schedules, give their time and energy to assist with events and activities. You can see our weekend volunteers swarming around operating our Dentzel Carousel and conducting animal presentations of our critters in our Nature Walk gallery.

Another indispensable part of the museum machine is the museum guild. The guild is comprised of a group of energetic and creative ladies who come together to support educational programs by fundraising throughout the year through various events. The museum guild also runs and maintains the Fascination Station (the Museum gift shop!)

Our Target Free Sunday’s could not be possible without the help and generosity of the National Charity League and the museum volunteers who help prepare activities and crafts for hundreds of eager families out for an afternoon of fun.

Thank you volunteers for your continued support of The Children’s Museum at La Habra!

Visit the museum and share what you are thankful for on our Tree of Appreciation in our Nannie’s Travels gallery!

Tree of Appreciation!

Mini Monsters Bash and Dia de Los Muertos

Wow, October just flew by and we hope yours was as fun and busy as ours! On October 30th we had our annual Mini Monsters Bash and it was a graveyard smash! Visitors enjoyed a costume parade, special crafts and activities, and animal presentations. Our art room was transformed into a spooky maze and our friends from PizzaRev showed up with a game to add to the excitement. Museum staff got into the Halloween spirit with our costumes, too. Thanks to all who attended!

The fun didn’t stop there! November 1st was our Target Free Sunday with a Dia de los Muertos theme. Students from Lynwood High School volunteered their time to paint faces and work our crafts booths and sugar skull decorating class. Our staff set up a special altar, or ofrenda, honoring family and loved ones. Day of the Dead altars are built to honor the lives of those who have passed. They are often quite beautiful creations, constructed with love and care. Creating these altars is one of the most important traditions during Day of the Dead in Mexico and in Mexican-American communities around the globe. On top of the altar, offerings are laid out for the dead. These are items that the spirits will enjoy when they come back to earth to visit their living families and friends.

Here are some some pictures from our events, and hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!

Pumpkin Carving!

Pumpkin carving is a Halloween tradition that encourages young and old to roll up their sleeves, dive in, and get messy! It is a wonderful opportunity for families to take a moment to create and work alongside their little ones! Feeling uninspired and doubtful of your pumpkin designing skills? Well, fear not! For some pumpkin carving ideas for kids check out this article from Better Homes and Gardens!

Engage your little one’s creativity and think outside the box to add some character to your gourd. There are endless ways to decorate a pumpkin. Paint, carve, glue- whatever the design you will be providing your youngsters with a memory that will last a life time!

Don’t forget about our Mini Monsters Bash on Friday, October 30th from 10-12! We will be having special Halloween themed crafts, a mini maze, and presentations of our critters! PizzaRev in La Habra will also be hosting a fundraiser for the museum! Stop by anytime from 11am-10pm and mention the museum to support the Children’s Museum at La Habra!

Have a happy Halloween!

Hissing Cockroaches Are Now on Display!

If you’ve been down to our Nature Walk recently, maybe you’ve noticed we have a few new animals on display! A family of Madagascar Hissing cockroaches now call the museum their home. These insects start off smaller than a watermelon seed, but will eventually grow to around 3 inches in length.  As their name would imply, they are native to the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa, but are now popular as pets or exhibit insects around the world. In the wild, they are a food source for lizards or other insects. Their trademark “hiss” sound scares off predators or attracts females, and is produced by forcing air through their spiracles, or breathing holes.

Now, we know that cockroaches get a bad rap as household pests, but in the wild they are an important part of the ecosystem. They eat dead and decaying plants on the forest floor- think of them as nature’s vacuum cleaners!  Here at the Children’s Museum, they are fed a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains or dog food. We hope you can meet them soon!

hisser

Parents, if your child would like to learn more about these animals, here are some questions to get you started:

  1. What are the differences between an insect and an arachnid (like a spider)? Is the hissing cockroach an insect or an arachnid?
  2. Can you find Africa on a map? What about Madagascar?
  3. Let’s play make believe! Can you hiss like a cockroach? Pretend you’re a cockroach crawling on the forest floor.

Read for the Record!

Help us break the world reading record (again!) for the most people reading the same book. This Tuesday children and adults worldwide will participate in the world’s largest shared reading experience. This year’s campaign book, Not Norman: A Goldfish Story, written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, is a humorous tale about a child who finds a new friend in an unexpected place. Not Norman is a beautifully illustrated book that will quickly become your child’s favorite bedtime story!

Meet us in the Nannie’s Travels Gallery throughout the day for scheduled readings of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story! We will also be making a craft inspired by this tale in our Family Art Center from 11-3. Do not forget to check our website for other fun events on the horizon! Our Mini Monster’s Bash is only weeks away! Get those costumes ready and join us for this absolutely delightful day of Halloween fun!

Dia de los Muertos at the Museum!

Day of the Dead may sound like the latest zombie movie in theaters, but it is in fact one of the largest Mexican holidays celebrated. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead is the Mexican celebration of All Souls Day, a day to honor loved ones who have passed on. Held on the first and second of November, this day is celebrated by building of altars for loved ones, visiting the graves of family members, as well as parades, dances, and music to honor the dead. One of the most important elements of Dia de los Muertos is the altar. Altars can range from elaborate pieces adorned with lights and flowers to humble altars made from a shoebox. For an in depth look at the symbols represented in an altar check out this article from the Latin Times!

One of the most symbolic expressions of this holiday is the Calaveras, or skull imagery that is displayed as masks, costumes, sculptures, and even candy that children decorate. Calacas, or skeleton sculptures are often seen represented wearing fancy, colorful clothes and enjoying entertainment. Day of the Dead inspired artwork generously donated from the art department from Cal State Fullerton can be seen in our Nannie’s Travels gallery for the next few weeks. Also, join us in celebration of this culturally rich holiday for our Target Free Sunday on November 1st, students from the Lynwood High School’s Art Academy will be painting faces all day!